Skip to main content

Jon Ola Sand: "It's great to bring the contest back to Copenhagen"

03 September 2013 at 17:49 CEST

2014 will be the fourth year that Jon Ola Sand will preside over the Eurovision Song Contest as Executive Supervisor and as with previous editions, he has been following the preparations for the next edition very carefully.

Yesterday, DR and the EBU announced that after much deliberation, Copenhagen had been selected to host the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, so we posed a number of questions to Jon Ola Sand about what he thought about this decision and other aspects of organisation so far:

What do you think of the decision to award the Eurovision Song Contest to Copenhagen?

I think it`s great to bring the contest back to Copenhagen. The city will create a perfect frame for both the delegations and visitors; a huge variety in terms of the cultural and gastronomic scene, a vast amount of hotel rooms in different categories, and the city is easily accessible from all over Europe.  The concept that Copenhagen presented to DR and the EBU was bold and a bit outside-the-box, which I appreciate. In addition to that, Copenhagen has tons of experience hosting big international events.

At what point did the EBU Reference Group become involved in the host city selection?

I have been closely involved in the process all the way since May, and have visited both the facilities in Herning and Copenhagen. The Reference Group has been informed on a regular basis, and will be following the preparations closely in the months to come.

Herning was another big favourite to be awarded the competition. What was your main concern with this proposal, if any?

Herning has an excellent venue, and the convention centre close by would have been an ideal solution for the Press Centre, dressing rooms and rehearsal space. However, the city itself is very small and there were logistical challenges regarding hotels and transportation. Although Herning presented feasible solutions to solve this, the Eurovision Song Contest is such a massive event, that it is difficult to absorb into such a small place. Apart from that, it was a very good and professional application from Herning.

DR have said they would like to help modernise the Eurovision Song Contest. What are your thoughts about this?

We are always encouraging the Host Broadcaster to come up with modern, creative solutions, and by that to bring the Eurovision Song Contest forward. DR has a lot of ambitions, and the very fact that the competition will be held at the B&W Hallerne has ignited imaginative and inventive ideas with the creative team. Their overall vision and values are closely connected to our heritage, but they are indeed looking forward.

Copenhagen 2014 will be the third time in five years that the Eurovision Song Contest has been held in Scandinavia. What do you think it is about these countries that has enabled them to win and produce successful shows?

The Scandinavian, and the Nordic countries focus a lot on their national selections in order to bring good songs and acts to the contest. Denmark has performed very well in the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years so it was only a matter of time. It hasn’t always been like this. The Eurovision Song Contest has traveled around every corner of Europe over the last 10 years, and created memorable moments with a different feel and flavours. But we know for sure: to win the Eurovision Song Contest you have to work seriously and systematically with artists and songwriters. You don`t just win it by accident.

Could we see any rule changes next year?

We are constantly working on the rules to keep them applicable and relevant. We are in the middle of the 2014 rules process and I will comment more on the rules when we send them out in late September.

What are your biggest wishes for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest?

The best Eurovision Song Contest ever!

The 2014 Eurovision Song Contest will take place at the B&W Hallerne on Refshaleøen in Copenhagen, Denmark on the 6th, 8th and 10th of May.